Hopi High girls win second cross country 2A state title

Hopi High Assistant Coach Wendi Lewis had the chore of working on Joelle Mansfield’s hair prior to the race.

Hopi High Assistant Coach Wendi Lewis had the chore of working on Joelle Mansfield’s hair prior to the race.

PHOENIX, Ariz. - The Hopi High girls won their second 2A state championship by placing five runners in the top 12 on Nov. 8.

Hopi High girls won with 32 points, Northland Preparatory grabbed second with 51, Valley Sanders claimed third with 81, Valley Christian took fourth with 152 and Yuma Catholic finished fifth with 177.

Hopi High freshman phenom Brittany Little led the Lady Bruins as she came in third and fellow freshman Jasmine Humetewa came in fifth. The others in the top 12 were Cassandra Nash, sixth; Terrissa Josytewa, eighth; and Kayla Koruh, 12th. The rest of the championship team included Tracy Billy, 17th; and Joelle Mansfield, 23rd. The top 28 all received medals for making the all-state team.

Andrea Klimowski from Northland Prep was the individual champ with a time of 20:20 and teammate Corrie Bain placed second in 20:51. Little placed third with a time of 21:19.

Hopi High Coach Laverne Lomakema said it was great winning state because the girls worked hard and deserved it. This is Lomakema's rookie season as head coach after she took over for Coach Harvey Honyouti who led Hopi to 16 state titles.

"Harvey is a great mentor," she said.

Coach Lomakema said the Lady Bruins ran an awesome race.

"The girls were focused and determined. You could look at their face and know they were ready. All I was looking for is what they gave me," she said. "I'm just so proud of them because they worked extremely hard. They grew during the season and they deserve every bit of this."

Little, a freshman phenom, said it was exciting for the girls to get their second straight title. She said the team ran a good race, but she could have run better and had problems with her shoelaces. They came undone at the starting line and unraveled by the second mile.

"I need to tie my shoes better next year," she said.

An honor roll student who also plays basketball and track, Little hopes to major in education at Kansas State University where she also plans to join the running program. She wants to become a high school cross country coach. She is the daughter of Alice and Andrew Whiterock.

Humetewa, another freshman standout, said it felt great for the Hopi High girls to keep the winning tradition going.

"We can keep it going by being strong and helping each other," she said.

Humetewa said the team ran to its potential. She also felt that she ran to her potential.

"I ran good because I believed in myself. I accomplished what I set out to do," she said. "I'm happy to be a state champ and proud of my teammates."

Humetewa, who plays basketball, is active in National Junior Honor Society. She plans to attend college, but is not sure where yet. She is the daughter of Cheryl Hamana and Gregory Humetewa.

Nash, a senior, said it felt good to be part of the winning tradition especially since the Lady Bruins ran to their potential at state.

"The team could have done better if some had moved up more," she said.

Nash said she ran a good race, but she could have done better by passing Humetewa toward the end of the race.

"The girls ran good and we gave it our best. We did it," she said.

Nash, who plays basketball and softball, is active in Protecting You/Protecting Me - a drug prevention and mentorship program.

An honor roll student, Nash plans to major in graphic design at Ft. Lewis College. She is the daughter of Pauline and Troy Nash.

Josytewa, a junior, said it felt good to bring back the state title again.

"It's great to repeat and start a tradition the same as the guys," she said.

Josytewa said the Lady Bruins can improve by practicing more and having a better kick toward the finish. She said the course was good, but she doesn't like running in the heat.

Josytewa, who runs track, is active in student council. She maintains a B-average and plans to major in physical therapy at Pima Community College. She is the daughter of Sara and Guy Josytewa.

Koruh, a junior, said winning the state title is almost the best feeling anyone can feel.

"It feels good to keep the tradition going. You have people believing in you and trusting you to carry on the tradition. We did it. Cool," she said.

Koruh said the course wasn't hard and it was a perfect day to run.

Koruh, who plays basketball and track, made the honor roll. She plans to major in culinary arts at the Scottsdale Institute of Culinary Arts. She is also considering studying veterinarian science. She is the daughter of Annetta Koruh.

Billy, a senior, said she was happy to be on a state championship team for the second year in a row.

"It feels great because I'm part of the team," she said. "All of the girls ran great and stayed positive."

Billy said the course was good, but challenging because of the hills. She said the weather was nice because of the little breeze.

"Good job, Hopi High School boys and girls," she said.

Billy, who runs track, made honor roll. She plans to study early childhood development at Gateway Community College. She is the daughter of Gertrude and Frederick Billy.

Mansfield, a junior, said winning state was a great accomplishment for the team and herself.

"A lot of people look up to us and want to talk to us because we've won so much. It's exciting," she said.

Mansfield said the goal was to stay together in a pack as a team.

"I could have done better, but I drank too much water so I felt heavy," she said.

Mansfield said the course was easy and she ran at a good time.

"It was a perfect day to run and win state," she said.

Mansfield, who runs track, is active in Close Up, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, junior class and Protecting You/Protecting Me. An honor roll student, she plans to major in pharmacy or education at Santa Fe Community College, then she plans to transfer to University of New Mexico.

She is the daughter of Laurel Poleyestewa and Joseph Mansfield.

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